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windows 8 compatible pc

hi I have been looking on ebay for pc's that are able to run as test machines either xp, win 7 or win 8, win 8.1 or all other versions of win 8.x  - below is a link I have been looking at:

due to my company not having their own lab for me to test, I am currently running my own windows 2003 domain lab at home with a mix of the below 32bit machines:

- Pentium 2 & 3's that run: windows 2003 servers
- advent laptop can also run windows 7
- Dell P4 - currently runs 2003 but can also run 2008

question 1.  can anyone give me some advice although as windows 2003/xp will not let me download any updates after april 2014, so I am thinking I need now 64bit machines only  ?

question 2.  I am thinking I need to
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I would try to get a dual-core CPU (Core 2 Duo or better) and at least 2GB of RAM for testing Windows 8/8.1.
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My test box is home-built Core2Quad with 16GB of RAM and ESXi. The machine can run four VMs at the same time, comfortably.
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hi I have read the comments and understand, so something like this model below is what I was thinking about although currently sold out, as it also states P4 & 64bit  - any advice  ?
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Really what you want is a new model and a virtualizer. It will just work better long run.

... Thinkpads_User
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hi poweredge,

way out my price range but ok I can use that as a guide.

what about just windows 7 with windows 2008, ignoring windows 8.x & so on, until budget is there  ?
We used to use the OptiPlex 330 here at work, running Windows 7x86.  That is quite a bit older (Core2Duo), but runs Windows XP-7 just fine.  I never tried Windows 8 on it.
Dell has drivers for NT, 2000, and XP for the GX620 ... I wouldn't waste 60 pounds on it.  This  is a much better buy:
There is absolutely no good reason to go for Windows 8 (except one). Windows 7 is the far better OS in my point of view, and it runs fine on old hardware.

The ONLY reason why one would want to go for Windows 8 is that it has Hyper-V built-in (from the Pro version upwards), but for that new hardware is absolutely necessary which supports SLAT and Virtual technologies).

The Dell you are looking at though I think is a bad deal even for older OS's, you should get better deals for around that price, like the one below:

This at least has an e6300 core 2 duo CPU.
I know rindi does not like Windows 8, but I have Windows 8.1 running Desktop only and it is the same as Windows 7 on that format and faster.

If you want to run Windows 8.1 as a host, go for it.

.... Thinkpads_User
hi thinkpads_user, yes thanks for that comment, although I think personally right about now I can leave windows 8.x upwards alone as stick with win 7 as I already use win 7 on my advent laptop.
hi rindi,  poweredge expert states the following:

both appear to be in my price range, but not sure which one is the better to go for, although I also assume they are both still 32bit but I assume ideally I should go to 64bit to install win 7 as a part upgrade, even though I currently using win 7 on my advent  ?

Dell has drivers for NT, 2000, and XP for the GX620 ... I wouldn't waste 60 pounds on it.  This  is a much better buy:

& you advise the following also:

you should get better deals for around that price, like the one below:

this at least has an e6300 core 2 duo Cpu
I'd wager the HP and the Dell are from the same generation of PC's and are very similar in technology.  Both will run 64-bit.
oh, so even though probably 32bit they may have compatibility to run 64bit also.  I will find out about that tomorrow..  so using both via windows 2003 & 2008 is ok.. ?

but can I still get updates for xp on the:  hp also  ?
Personally I'd forget about XP, as that will be obsolete by June anyway. Also 2003 isn't anything I'd pursue anymore. Vista, Windows 7, 2008 and 2008 r2 will run on both of those PC's, maybe even Windows 8, although not all functions will be available.
Both will run 32-bit or 64-bit:

I have run Windows XP, Vista, 7, 2003, 2008, and 2008R2 on the OptiPlex 330.  (We replaced them before needing to try 8, 8.1, 2012, 2012R2.)

The HP has drivers for XP-Vista (although the Vista drivers will 'probably' work for anything needed in Windows 7).
hi poweredge,

I might just go for the hp e4400 only because of the price, even though the dell 6300 appears to be a somewhat higher spec slightly and can run xp as stated above.

I will though eventually move everything to win 7 at least, but then be running a win 2008 server as I already have a server for that 'dell poweredge 2950'.

not sure I understand the below comment, unless you mean if I have xp running on the (hp) I can download vista drivers from the below site:  ?

the hp has drivers for xp-vista (although the vista drivers will 'probably' work for anything needed in windows 7).
MOST (not all) Vista drivers will work with Windows 7.
ok thanks for those useful comments.  I will decide tomorrow which one to get.


im now deciding on either the dell OptiPlex 330 or the hp dc5700 as mentioned yesterday.

q1.  I might be able to raise the funds to buy the: dell OptiPlex instead of the hp dc5700, so can someone advise which one they would say is the preferred buy and why  although yes the e6300 appeared to be a slightly better spec  ?

q2.  will I have any problems running, gpo\software installation, pxe - ris\wds\sccm images  ?

note: or I might get one of each as there both from the same company.
The HP has the faster CPU, that runs at a higher Frontside Bus speed, and a larger disk, so you get more value there, but the case is smaller, you can probably only use half height extension cards, and less disks will fit in, provided you are thinking of any future hardware expansions. If I would choose I'd take the HP...

I have an HP DC5750, which uses the same case design as the dc5700 has, (but it has an AMD board with AMD CPU Athlon 64 X2 CPU inside). I'm very satisfied with it, it is very quiet and has enough power to meet my needs. Currently it has 3.5GB RAM, but it should take up to 8GB (4x2GB DDR2 sticks), so with that it would be fine for virtual machines.

Currently it is running Windows 7 64 ultimate, but I have also tested it with Windows 8 64 enterprise, which works (but it won't run Hyper-V included with Windows 8, as that requires SLAT which this CPU doesn't have, but neither does the E6300 of DC5700). So I think it is comparable to the HP on the ebay site.

Your 2nd question really is irrelevant, that isn't hardware dependent (except maybe that you need a PXE capable NIC, which I think practically every PC has today, and if it doesn't you can always add another NIC).
ok, i will go for the 'hp dc5700' & yes i do have spare pxe nic cards.

i had to make sure.

hi i am having a problem i have not had before and was wondering if anyone could take a look at the following:
Something else I should mention, you can probably get even better deals via ebay, but you will need to take some time and refine your filters. Those PC's that have been mentioned so far you can buy immediately for the price advertised, but on ebay there are also many deals which run for a certain amount of time, and the highest bidder gets the product. Such deals can stay pretty cheap (I got my DC5750 on a similar portal, but not ebay, in Switzerland for 1.-- SFr). I have set my filters to no list anything above 5.-- SFr, and I also have a filter which limits the results to an area within 20 Km diameter of my location, so that I can pick it up easily by bike. If the seller doesn't specifically say that the device can be picked up, I ask him that before I start bidding. That way I save on postage charges, and I can pay in cash which also is more secure and doesn't have extra charges.

But of course you have to be patient and look at several auctions until a good one comes up. If you need your PC immediately that's not the way to go...
will Seagate harddrives work in the hp dc5700 or the dell OptiPlex or are they scsi  ?
Newer Seagate Drives are SATA and work for Windows 8. I have a Seagate SATA drive for my Lenovo machine and it works fine.

... Thinkpads_User
SCSI is hardly ever used anymore. Both will have SATA controllers. So any SATA disk will work fine.

The company that makes the drives doesn't make any difference. Seagate made SATA IDE and SCSI disks, although currently they probably don't build any new IDE or SCSI disks.
i need to complete some stuff with win 2008 but some of my seagate hard drives are faulty so wanted to know if the below will be ok  ?

seagate barracuda 7200.7 , st340014a ata , ide, 7200rpm, hard drive
Older Seagate drives were sometime problematic, but newer ones are fine based on my experience.

If you don't want Seagate, Western Digital make good drives. I have WD drives in my Lenovo desktop which runs 7x24.

... Thinkpads_User
so the Seagate barracuda are ok  ?
Should be. Make sure it has a good warranty.

... Thinkpads_User
Those are IDE disks. I don't know if the boards of those PC's still have IDE controllers built-in. You should really use SATA disks.
no, the ide disks are actually for my Pentium 2/3 machines as i currently have ide & not for the hp dc5700.
I've checked the specs, and neither, the Dell nor the HP seem to have IDE ports, only SATA. If you need to run those old disks in there, you'd have to get an adapter, something like the one below:

But here the problem could be that the disk, with this adapter would need too much space in the case, so it might not fit...
hi rindi, its ok i will get sata if required.  thanks
Both PC's already have disks by the way, the HP a 250GB disk and the Dell a 160GB...
yes i know thanks.  appreciated.  i will be buying tomorrow now as i have already communicated with ebay seller.
hi I have received my: hp5700 pc and it has a built-in nic card which does not allow me to get internet access as it appears it needs 'drivers'.

can anyone tell me if I need to download specific drivers for this  ?

I also have a spare 905b or c nic card which is too big to fit inside the hp5700 which also has a built in pxe capability.
For all PC's you always have to first install the the manufacturer's chipset drivers for your OS, reboot, and after that install the rest of the drivers. Those are available for download on the manufacturer's site (HP).
morning,  Im working all this week but when I get chance I will go on one of those links provided earlier and hopefully will be able to locate drivers.

what about 905 b or c type nic drivers specific for my hp5700  ?

If the NIC doesn't work after you have installed the chipset drivers (The chipset drivers are the most important of a PC, and most of the other devices depend on them to work), there will probably be specific NIC drivers you can download from the HP site. At the moment the HP site doesn't work properly though, so I can't check.
If you are putting Windows 8 on this, then you will need to go to Windows 8.1, so make sure every possible driver has been updated. BIOS, Chipset (as already noted), Video and then every other driver there is. All my Lenovo drivers have been revised for Windows 8.1.

... Thinkpads_User
hi rindi, in what was does the hp website not function  ?
hi thinkpads_user, currently I have installed xp just to finish off a few things and then looking to install win 7 on it not win 8.
When I go to the driver downloads for your PC, I get a message that either the server or service isn't available, that I should try later. For that reason I can't check which drivers are available, neither can I check what chipset and other hardware etc is being used.
Mikey - You should make a long term decision what you want. You had said at the beginning Windows 8.

Whatever, the overall advice from me and others holds.  Get the BIOS, Chipset and Video for the operating system you wish to run and install them. Then update all other drivers for that operating system.

If your long term goal is Windows 8, then know that Windows 8.1 Update 1 is due out very soon. So if Windows 8 is your goal, go directly to Windows 8.1 and don't stop at Windows 7.

If Windows 7 is your long term goal (until the machine dies) then stick with Windows 7.

... Thinkpads_User
hi thinkpads_user,  win 7 is my next goal with windows 2008, but eventually yes win 8.1 instead of win 8 according to advice, but due to affordability could not go for win 8.1 as per below link provided my another expert:

i have successfully installed sp2
i have successfully installed the intel chip drivers

both above installed in below path:


when i attempted to install the 'intel pro1000 drivers 15.6 ms xp' - it stated:

"no intel network connections were found on this computer"

i have also rebooted the hpdc5700 but still no connection and no ip address allocated as light shows as green and other machines that are successful show as 'amber' to internet access.

i decided to then also install the following but still no connection to my dhcp virgin hub

modem agere systems pci soft modem driver international

note: after the above i re-installed 'overwriting' previous 'intel chip drivers' successfully and restarted machine but still no connection, showing as a green light on my virgin media router and not 'amber' as it should.

i have also rebooted my virgin media router but same issue.

question 1.  can anyone give any suggestions  ?
You got this on eBay. What does the vendor say?  Does the NIC work?  

Open Device Manager and see if the wired NIC exists.

Consider trying a different network card.

This is now a very long, all purpose thread that has drifted from the subject to fixing a dead operating system.

.... Thinkpads_User
If this is XP you are currently installing, install SP3 first.

On the HP site (it now works again), there are several different drivers for the NIC of that PC, so perhaps they built several versions with different configurations. So try the different drivers and not just the one.

You can test whether it works by booting a LiveCD, like Knoppix. When you boot to the CD/DVD, and you can get online with it, that would tell you the NIC works. If it doesn't work there either, it could be broken:
hi rindi yes i know, i am on hp drivers site now.

when i look at the list of nic drivers i downloaded the most updated drivers due to the date showing: 27 jul 2012

ive also installed the following from the 'hp website' as my virgin media has not allocated an address to my hpdc5700


note: as i have already installed sp2, and my previous efforts have still not resolved my issue.  then yes i am now about to install sp3.

i will let you know.
That's the Intel Pro driver. There is also an Intel Gigabit Driver and Broadcom NetXtreme, which I'm not sure whether they are for the same NIC, so try those as well.
yes sp3 installed.  i now have internet access after installing the 4th nic drivers in the list, but in order to show the 'amber' light on my virgin router, i changed the 1000gb link from auto to 100mb and it changed from green that is no connection to 'amber' that is a successful connection on this specific virgin router.

job done!!

hi thinkpads_user

- you mention at the following: id: 39766054 and yes eventually win 8 or 8.1 although if i require 'virtualization' then win 8.1 is the choice.

at the moment i looking to move from xp to win 7, as it appears at the moment moving to win 8.1 costs more than i can afford, so i had to make a decision hence buying at least the following as suggested below and at least i can move from win 2003 upto win 2008 using the same machine in-conjunction with win 7.

this at least has an e6300 core 2 duo cpu
before i close this thread it would be appreciated if i could get one more answer.

when sp3 has been installed on xp, there are other extra updates that my hpdc5700 has detected ie 127 updates so far which i am currently installing - but if i did not install them would there be a problem because in my mind sp3 is there for the most important updates and the extras are just dependant on what kind of a machine a company has purchased  -  ?

is the above xp/sp3 principal the same if i have installed win 2003 sp2  ?
The updates should always be applied, as otherwise your system more open to attack. SP3 only included those updates that were there when the SP came out, but not those that were published later. With every OS you should always install the latest SP and all updates after that.
hi rindi, the only reason i ask is because i have a thread out there regarding windows update but cannot get any resolution at all.

ok closing and allocating points to this thread now.

much appreciated for all advice.
when I allocate points to most users each and every response from experts it states that it is below the 20 point threshold so points do not allocate.  so what I have done is selected each of the experts for on at least twice to share the points as fairly as possible.

sound advice!!
@mikey250 - Thanks for following up and I was happy to assist.

... Thinkpads_User